Given for the Saints at Medicalodge, Neosho, MO, on 7/17/05
"The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you" (Gen. 12:1).
It's human nature to want what we don't have, and often, to be so busy trying to get it that we don't see what is right in front of us. That's part of being created in the image of The Creator, who proclaimed, "Let there be light!" in the apparent emptiness of space. He saw beyond the inky void described by James Weldon Johnson as "blacker than a hundred midnights down in a cypress swamp" (from God's Trombones), to the cosmos He would speak into being, and beyond that to His ultimate creation, man. Most of the time, we fall far short of that prescient vision, for when we look at humanity, we see a flawed lump of clay, not the glory of our Father. God has the ability to "see through" the present into the eternal, and most glorious of all, He "calls the things that are not as though they were" (Rom 4:17). I didn't plan to write another piece on soul power, but as I lay in bed one night this week, reflecting on my personal journey, I realized that I have always wanted more than I had of God, specifically a share of His power, the same force that framed the worlds, healed the sick, raised the dead, and spoke the New Creation into being even as He had spoken the original creation into existence. Reassuring the Lord and myself that I am so blessed to have what He has already given me, I followed His leading to look back at my personal journey on what we call The Glory Road.
Raised in a Christian home, in a fundamentalist church, I always believed absolutely in the miracles recounted in the Bible, and in fact, still thrill when I read about the miracles Jesus performed while he traveled the dusty roads of the Galilee and Judea. I took literally His statement that we would do greater works than the ones He performed, and that anointed word has become a burning torch in my soul which never goes out. After I received "the baptism in the Holy Spirit," some 35 years ago now, I latched onto Kenneth Copeland, for he promised his disciples a piece of the power pie. I tried diligently to get the goodies, and there's no way to quantify how much soul power (self effort) I expended in the attempt. My goal along with another brother in our fellowship, was nothing less than to heal every single patient in Los Robles Hospital. God brings me up short regularly, and rarely is He harsh, but after our prime subject died, I was riding my bicycle, asking God, why, Why, WHY had He allowed this woman to die in spite of our prayers, confessions of faith, scripture quoting, naming and proclaiming her healing. If soul power could have saved her, she would be alive and well to tell the tale, but she died a long, painful, miserable death, which was my first realization that soul power is limited. Why He didn't use Spirit power to save her was the question burning in my mind. All He said to me in a very firm tone was "Ruth is my business." I got it and backed off. The conclusion I came to was that He didn't trust us with so much power because we lacked experience. You wouldn't give a loaded AK47 automatic assault rifle to a four year old child because he might kill himself or someone else. But from that day to this, I never see a crippled person in a wheel chair, or a person suffering from illness great or small, that I don't pray, "Father YOU could heal him." Lenny says this indicates that like Christ, we are life giving spirits (I Cor. 15:45).
For me, the power to heal and do miracles is that far country to which I have hoped God will eventually lead me, if that's His will and calling for my life. In the meantime, I saw again what is all through scripture, and that is the need to "wait on the Lord." The Psalmist said, "But for thee, O LORD, do I wait; it is thou, O LORD my God, who wilt answer" (Ps. 38:14). I realized in my time with Him, that it is not really the power that I long for, for that's merely a byproduct of walking with Him, being In Him. What I long for is more of God Himself. In one sense, we have all of Him in Christ, who is "the fulness of the godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9), and this is Who indwells us. How could we have more than that? And yet, and yet, that far country beckons me, calls me forth from this little piece of dirt where I walk, and draws me onward and upward to the throne room and to Him who is my all in all. "And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in thee" (Ps. 39:7).
It came to me that we use soul power to while away the hours and days and months and years until God kicks the program into a higher gear in our lives. I have my own ideas about how that will manifest, but that's all they are, my ideas. You no doubt have your own thoughts about God's grand finale, and we all have our hopes of how it will play out. Until then, we have a Father who is a never failing spring of living water to meet the needs of our thirsty souls. "Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty" (John 6:35). To fill our deepest needs by soul power is an impossibility in the first place, but because the attempt expends enormous energy, it fills our lonely days and nights. God is but a whisper away, and His promise that we will never go hungry and never be thirsty becomes reality in His Son, wherein we dwell.
Yet, in spite of the great and glorious promises on which we stand, there remains a restlessness in me at times, a wondering about when He'll turn on the switch, for this is not all there is. From the e-mail we receive, we know that many of you are experiencing this angst of spirit, this hungering for more of God. When He walked among men physically, Jesus wielded enormous power to heal the sick, raise the dead, and set the captives free. Throughout the Bible, the purpose of these signs and wonders was to confirm the word of God spoken by His prophets, Apostles, His Son and His sons (See Deut. 9:5; II Sam. 7:25; John 4:48; Acts 4:30; 5:12; 14:3; 15:12; Rom. 15:19). Paul wrote the Corinthians, "The things that mark an apostle: signs, wonders and miracles, were done among you with great perseverance" (II Cor. 12:12). Such divine activity is in short supply among us today except in third world countries, where Christians often report dramatic healings and the dead being raised to life in the name of Christ. Surely a greater work than these is that all over the world, people are being set free from the bondage of man centered religion. Many of God's children no longer depend upon rules, regulations and soul power (self effort) to make them pleasing to their Father, but rely instead upon Spirit power. That same Spirit which raised Christ from the dead is still doing what He ever did among men who are dead emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
I find it ironic, interesting, and obviously part of His plan, that God sent me to a place where EVERYONE needs healing! Every Saint in our Sunday morning service is in a wheel chair or uses a walker to get around. They can't see or hear or think or move like they once did, but glory be to God, they are being set free from the ties which bound them to works and soul power. It is difficult to be involved in self effort when you cannot even move without help, but the real place where the failure of soul power takes its toll is in the soul, the mind, the will. If you believed all your life that you are only pleasing to God when you work for Him, and suddenly, you find yourself in a place where you can't move, let alone work, you are in an emotional pickle indeed. God sent me to them to tell them that His plan of the ages does not depend on them or us or any man's efforts, but rather, is based on what He already accomplished in Christ for us and through us. In fact, the Hebrew writer declares about God, "yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world" (Heb. 4:3). Knowing the truth of this statement sets us free from anxiety about our own works, allowing us to enter into rest with Him.
The Saints at Medicalodge have received me and the message He gave me to deliver with joy and thanksgiving, and the writings which God gives me are part of His grace and love for me, an important way by which I touch the divine. Lenny shares my desire that "this little flock" be healed physically, even as they are being made whole spiritually. Each Sunday morning before I leave, he lays hands on me and asks God to bless my words, and then adds, "And heal them all, Father." It is not lost on me that God has put me in such a place where my good intentions and fervent prayers are still not enough to get them out of those wheel chairs and running down the halls. But as they get freer and freer, which I perceive by the things they say (we have an interactive service, all comments welcome), the more I understand that this is one of the "greater works" which Jesus promised us. He healed bodies in His earthly ministry, and now, flowing through us, He is healing minds and emotions, restoring to us what the locust and cankerworms have destroyed (Joel 2:25). He has given me His love to share with these dear old Christians and love is the greatest healing force in the universe!
I resonate to what John Gavazzoni said recently about what constitutes these greater things we long to do: "The Lord Jesus' capstone of accomplishment will be from the throne where He sits in His exalted and glorified Humanity transmitted to us in the Spirit. We are indwelt by the Spirit of glorified Humanity, so that what the Lord shall do through us from the throne will go beyond what He did before His enthronement" ("Dangerous Distortion," Link at End). End Quote.
This far country where God is sending us lies beyond the control of family, friends, local church, and soul power. It is not a long journey, but it may last for years until God opens our eyes to see the kingdom within. Long or short, it is not an easy pilgrimage. We must creep past dangerous precipices plunging down into pools of doubt; climb over towering mountains of rules and regulations which block the path; traverse rivers of insecurity, deserts of want, and pass through villages filled with nay sayers and prophets of gloom and doom. Never do we travel alone, however, for God Himself holds our hand and guides our steps as we walk The Glory Road back to Him from whom we came. Jesus said about the deprivations of this journey: "I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields, and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first" (Mark 10:29-31). Whether we arrive first or last, or battered and bruised matters not. It is the destination which draws us. It is our Father Himself who is our very great reward.
People have always journeyed to a far country, whether literal or metaphorical, looking for what they don't have. The earth was explored by greedy men looking for gold, spices and other costly items held dear. All addictions represent a journey to a far country looking for something to make one feel whole again. Most of the world considers money or other forms of wealth as a "ticket to ride" to any far country they choose to visit, and use soul power as a way to make it, acquire it, or steal it. All these things are worked out by "soul power," when in fact, what our souls long for is "Spirit power."
Abraham (then called Abram) left Haran and went to a far country, led only by Spirit power, by God's promise: "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran" (Gen. 12:2-4). Most of us are a little younger than 75 when we set out for the far country, but along the way, God richly blessed Abraham, giving him "flocks and herds, silver and gold, menservants and maidservants, camels and asses" (Gen. 24:35). Yet, over and above the material blessings, God said to him in a vision, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I AM your shield, your very great reward" (Gen. 15:1). I am always blessed to know that Abraham's greatest gift was God Himself. Likewise, our greatest gift is not power to work miracles, tongues to speak mysteries, riches to make Solomon envious, or anything else the mind of man might covet. Our greatest gift is God and His unconditional love.
The Lord told Lenny that he may not return to the men's Sunday School class to whom he was sent until he "returns in power." We don't know what that means, or when it will be manifested, but we've learned by now that He will show it to us in His time, not ours. So, we wait upon God, knowing that His time is perfect and He does all things well. Many of you are waiting to see what comes next in your lives as well, knowing the "what" takes a back seat to the "Who," the One who calls, justifies and glorifies us.
Jesus gave us the last word regarding soul power (self effort): "By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me" (John 5:30).
Father, we thank You that You called us before the foundation of the world to be Your sons; to declare Your name before those who do not know You, and share Your unconditional love with them. Thank You for meeting the needs of a lost and dying planet and restoring all creation to Yourself. Your fellowship enriches us; Your word sustains us; and Your faith gives us the victory in every trial. We bless You, the Alpha and Omega of our journey, and honor You ages without end. Amen. Jan Antonsson
Jan and Lenny Antonsson
17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)
"Abraham's DNA, Soul Power II,"
"Faith or Works? Soul Power III,"
"Ambassadors for the Kingdom, Soul Power, IV,"
"Three Blind Mice, the Guilt Factor, Soul Power, V,"
" Soul Power Revisited, Soul Power VI"
"That Tree, Soul Power VII"
The Glory Road
We're always glad to hear from you!
This page was uploaded to the web on 7/14/05
by Jan Antonsson, Webmeister,
and last edited on 10/14/08.